Long claims double gold at European Masters Championships

One of Herne Hill Harriers oldest competitors in track and field is also one of the most successful.

Allan Long, 81, claimed two sprint gold medals outdoors at the European Masters Athletics Championships in Pescara, Italy.

It follows on from his superb winter season which saw World Masters Indoor Championships gold medals in the 60m and 200m and a silver in the triple jump.

Long won the M80 100m final in 15.60 last Friday and then took the 200m title in the rain on Sunday in 31.97. The latter performance sets a new British M80 outdoor record and is equal to his British M80 indoor record time set back in February in Sheffield.

Another Harriers European medallist in Italy was 50-year-old Nikki Sturzaker, who has won silver medals in the W50 1,500m and 5,000m.

Sturzaker won her 1,500m heat in 5:34.68 on Friday and then on Saturday was unlucky not to win her final after being shoved in the finishing straight by an athlete who crossed the line in third but was subsequently disqualified.

She nevertheless managed to salvage second place with 5:05.92 and then on Monday morning won another silver medal in the 5,000m.

Her clocking of 18:09.06 was a track PB and improves on her own recently set club W50 record.

Herne Hill’s U13 and M40 teams brought home gold medals at the South of England Road Relays at Rushmoor Arena near Aldershot on Saturday.

The U13 team of Zaccheus Kelman, Luca Boulton and Edward Cunniffe were the winners of the first race of the day, moving up from fourth after first stage to third at the end of the second leg and then into a winning lead on the final circuit.

Harriers were giving other M40 teams a few years as after M40 Jeff Cunningham came home in second, 51-year-old Simon Coombes and then M45 Raj Paranandi maintained this position before M50 Ben Pavior moved into the lead in the closing stages for the win. Cunningham’s 19:32 clocking for the 6km leg was the second fastest overall.

The U15 boys team of Caspian Holmes, Leau Roch and Thomas Clerkin placed fifth. The U15 girls team of Maeve Minielly, Florence Mills and Sophie Jack were ninth and the U13 girls team of Isobel Carter, Isobel Mclennan and Sofia Mendes were 15th.

Harriers’ fastest senior woman on the day was W40 Leonie Biemolt, mother of U13B gold medallist Luca Boulton, as she ran a strong and superbly-judged first leg for the B team in 18th.

Charlotte Davies, in the A team, was only a few seconds behind in 20th as teams got off to strong starts. The A team went on to finish 16th thanks to Annie Dalton, Jenny Nandi and Sarah Grover, while the B team came 22nd and the C team 43rd out of 53 complete teams.

The senior men placed 20th. Lewis Laylee was 23rd on the first leg with 18:33, Dan Shaw was 20th on second leg with 18:54, U20 Harry Bell held 23rd with 19:36 and then Sam Bramwell stormed through to 13th with a very rapid 17:47, one of the fastest individual times of the day. John Franklin finished 18th on fifth stage with 19:57 and Ronan Tanguy brought the team home in the top 20 with 20:02.

Jonathan Ratcliffe chalked up an incredible 100th finish in an official full marathon race in Warsaw.

The M55 recorded a time of 2.49.21 as the fastest runner in the over-50s category at the event, this being the 75th time out of 100 that he has finished in under three hours. Eric Dol with 2:45.43 and Robert Nagorski with 3:28.51 (seventh M60) were also racing.

At the Vitality London 10km results on Sunday the leading HHH runners were Mohammed Ismail 34:44, Will Ellison 36:43, Tom Irish 36:50, Scott Morrison 36:51, Matthew Bright 37:12, Craig Duncan 37:35, Pedro Henrique Pinto 37:39, Charlotte Davies 37:51, Megan Gildea 39:30, Laura Donnell 40:47 and Alex Lee 40:47, some very fine runs and PBs included in there. 

Also on Sunday morning at the Berlin Marathon Alex Gutteridge clocked 2:50.49 and Ian Jack 3:20.06.

Geoff Jerwood